Picking a Phlebotomy Course in Indiana
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school in Indiana is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some Indiana phlebotomists actually work in laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Indiana medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training in Indiana, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved Indiana healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the Indiana campus is relevant in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to state? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it’s extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges in Indiana. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Indiana local clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Indiana school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the Indiana regulator or the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the Indiana colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Indiana health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it’s an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Indiana health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends in Indiana, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Phlebotomist Program in Indiana
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Indiana.